x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Teenage Fujikawa hopeful of success in Puerto Rico

Tadd Fujikawa, one of the band of teenagers hitting the headlines in golf, looks to make a name for himself again this week in the Puerto Rico Open.

Tadd Fujikawa, one of the band of teenagers hitting the headlines in golf, is looking to make a name for himself again this week in the Puerto Rico Open. With all the big guns away at the WGC-CA Championship in Miami, the tiny Hawaiian, 18, hopes to make the most of a sponsor's invitation to the US$3.5million (Dh12.8m) event at the Trump International course in Rio Grande. At 15, Fujikawa became the youngest-ever qualifier for the US Open and just four days after his 16th birthday he was the second youngest player to make a halfway cut on the PGA Tour. In January he made it through at the Sony Open again, then tied the course record with a round of 62 to be only two off the lead. A closing 73, however, dropped him to 32nd place. Fujikawa, only 5ft 1in (1.55m) tall after being born three months prematurely and weighing less than two pounds, is out to show that this is the year of the youngster. Last month Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy, 19, and the New Zealand amateur Danny Lee, 18, both won on the European Tour and in Japan, the new sensation Ryo Ishikawa, still only 17, has been invited to next month's Masters. For Fujikawa, though, not everything in his life has been going smoothly. His father Derrick last month pleaded guilty to two counts of drug trafficking. He will be sentenced on April 6 and faces the likelihood of one to four years in prison. The Puerto Rico event also sees the PGA Tour debut of Camilo Villegas' 24-year-old younger brother Manuel, while England's Greg Owen seeks to build on last week's 13th place in the Honda Classic. *PA Sport